Sore muscles are common among those who work out and exercise regularly. Having sore muscles makes them feel like they’ve worked the body enough, shedding their extra calories. Muscle soreness associated with vigorous exercise is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Sometimes, sore muscles may occur due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Irrespective of the cause of muscle soreness, many find it difficult to live with sore muscles and need some help coping with it.
Ways To Get Rid Of Your Sore Muscles
If you experience sore muscles and you are unable to deal with the pain, consider trying some of these ways to reduce the soreness in your muscles.
1. Get Enough Exercise
If you are a couch potato or you have a job that involves a lot of sitting, it is time to move around more. Sitting for too long, especially in bad posture, can cause strain to your neck and soreness in the shoulders and back.
So, to avoid this soreness, you need to give your body some movement to move the muscles and joints. A walk in the neighborhood or using the office stairs instead of the lift is a good practice.
2. Stretch Your Body
Whether you have sore muscles because of your fitness routine or because of stress, stretching can help ease the pain. Stretching your body improves muscle flexibility.
If you work out, make sure you do some stretching exercises before and after your sessions to prevent DOMS. These stretching exercises can minimize the tear in your muscles.
If you spend half your day in front of the computer, you tend to develop stiffness in your muscles. This stiffness is associated with stress. Stretching your muscles, especially neck muscles, at your desk can help relax them and avoid muscle tightening. Stretching can also improve your body posture.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking enough glasses of water will keep your body hydrated. When you exercise, you sweat and your body releases the water present in it. This can cause dehydration. Therefore, it is important to have at least 8 glasses of water every day.
Water is important for muscle repair and growth. This is particularly important if your body is involved with intense workouts. Along with protein-rich foods, muscles also require water to synthesize the proteins to help in muscle building.
4. Give Your Body A Massage
Massages are an effective solution for sore muscles; you can do this yourself or take the help of someone who knows how to apply the right pressure to your sore muscles.
Massages can relax both your mind and body. It eases the tension in the muscles and helps calm your mind. Gentle massages also improve blood circulation in your muscles, aiding the process of muscle repair. A massage can also break down the inelastic muscular fibers.
5. Apply Heat To Your Body
Applying heat to your body can improve blood flow, reduce the muscle pain, and can also relax your muscles. You can apply heat by taking a hot water shower or even soaking your body in a hot bath tub.
A hot water shower or a hot bath tub stimulates feelings of relaxation and works faster to relieve the muscles from pain. However, make sure you avoid this if you have an open wound, skin allergies, or visible swelling. Those with heart diseases or hypertension should consult a doctor before applying heat to the body.
6. Use Hot And Cold Treatment
Hot and cold treatment is effective for muscle pain and inflammation. Hot treatment is recommended if you have stiff or tight muscles. It increases the blood flow and flexibility of the affected area. Cold treatment is ideal for relieving inflammation and swelling causing pain to the muscle.
You can do this at home by applying a clean towel dipped in hot water to the affected area for two minutes. Make sure it is not burning hot so that you don’t burn your skin. Follow this with cold application – dip a towel in cold water and apply it to the affected area. Repeat this at least four times for effective results.
7. Slow Down Your Fitness Routine
If you have sore muscles, it is important to take your fitness routine slow and easy. Intense workouts may worsen the existing condition. Make sure you work out under the guidance of a fitness instructor, so you know you are exercising in good form.
If your sore muscles don’t heal and cause more discomfort, consult a doctor before it is too late.
Ayurvedic Approach To Heal Sore Muscles
Ayurveda offers several natural ways of pain relief. Although Ayurvedic practices take time, they have been proven to be effective.
1. Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.1 Animal studies show that ginger may help reduce muscle pain caused due to strenuous exercises, which may help ease human muscle pain as well. However, the effect of ginger on human pain relief is uncertain.2
In a yoga journal, a yoga therapist claims that a hot water soak in ginger powder and baking soda can help ease muscle pain. To a tub of hot water add two-thirds of a cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of ginger powder. Soaking the body in this can help increase the blood flow due to the ginger powder and can remove toxins from the body due to the presence of baking soda.
2. Mustard Seeds May Relax Muscles
Mustard seeds may help relieve muscle spasms. This can be done by tying mustard seeds in a cloth and placing it in hot water. Immersing the hands and feet in this hot water may relieve joint pain as well as muscle soreness. Mustard seeds mixed with water can also relax muscles.3
3. Abhyanga Massage May Relieve Muscle Soreness
One of the well-known massage therapies Ayurveda offers is the massage called Abhyanga massage. This massage is recommended for muscle soreness, joint pain and stiffness, stress, tension, nervousness, restlessness, and sleeplessness.4
This massage treatment uses warm ayurvedic herb infused organic oils like Mahanarayan, Ashwagandha oil, and sandalwood oil in a base of organic coconut or sesame oil. This is massaged gently on the affected area to ease stiffness or muscle pain.
|↑1||Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri, Reza Ghiasvand, Gholamreza Askari, Mitra Hariri, Leila Darvishi, and Mohammad Reza Mofid. “Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence.” International journal of preventive medicine 4, no. Suppl 1 (2013): S36.|
|↑2||Black, Christopher D., Matthew P. Herring, David J. Hurley, and Patrick J. O’Connor. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.” The Journal of Pain 11, no. 9 (2010): 894-903.|
|↑3||Lad, Vasant. Ayurveda: The science of self-healing: A practical guide. Lotus press, 1984.|
|↑4||Handa, Parvesh. Ayurveda for Health and Beauty. Lotus Press, 2007.|